What Wat? Wat Chang Lom (วัดช้างล้อม), Si Satchanalai, Thailand

Wat Chang Lom is a large Buddhist monastery built around 1286 in Si Satchanalia, Northern Thailand.

Its construction was heavily influenced by Sri Lanka.

Si Satchanalai means ‘City of the Good People’ and it was the second residence of the Kingdom of Sukhothai’s Crown Prince. The Si Satchanalai Historical park is home to another 5 major Buddhist temples.

 The main sanctuary, seen here, is encased in thick laterite walls

The temple grounds are large and flat. Si Satchanalai gets surprisingly few visitors- it was just us, the gardeners and the birds for the first three hours we were there.



The temple is named for the 39 elephants that surround the base of the stupa. (Chang means Elephant in Thai)

Some of the elephants have stood the weather and time better than others.


Once, the second level of the stupa was filled with 1.4 metre tall Buddha images. Some have disappeared.

Singapore, What Wat?

What Wat? Our Lady of Lourdes, Ophir Road, Singapore


An occasional look at Wats and other places of worship within the region.



The Church of our Lady of Lourdes was built between 1886 and 1888 by Father Joachim Alexander Marie Meneuvrier and named after the Church of our Lady of Lourdes located in Lourdes, France.

In 1885, the government provided a piece of land, originally a swamp, for the establishment of a church. Bishop Gasnier laid the cornerstone of the building on 1 August 1886, and the building was completed and officially dedicated in May 1888.



In 1974, the church authorities gave up the status of being an Indian Roman Catholic Church and chose to serve Catholics of all ethnicities and languages.


During the Japanese Occupation, two bombs fell on the church grounds, causing substantial damage. Miraculously, however, the church did not suffer any damage. The troops occupied the church until their surrender to the British in 1945.


Our Lady of Lourdes was gazetted as a national monument on 14 January 2005.




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Cambodia, What Wat?

What Wat? Nurunnam Mosque, Cambodia

An occasional look at Wats and other places of worship within the region.


Nurunnam Mosque sits 9 kilometres north of Phnom Penh on National Road No.5

It can be slightly uncomfortable visiting mosques in the region as experience tells me that you will most likely be ignored, which is fine, or viewed with suspicion by sullen-looking elderly men.(Singapore’s Masjid Sultan was a pleasant exception)

That shouldn’t be a great surprise in Cambodia; as a tiny minority they would be use to being regarded with suspicion themselves, I suppose.








Cambodia, What Wat?

What Wat? Prek Ambel Pagoda, Kandal, Cambodia

An occasional look at Wats and other places of worship within the region.


Wat Pek Ambel sits on a bank of the Bassac river, 35 kilometres south of Phnom Penh.

Highway 21 is mostly well-maintained and this is an easy motorcycle road that takes you through the capital of Kandal province, Ta Khmao, over more than 20 small bridges and past dozens of villages and fresh markets.


The Vihara, or sermon hall, is still brightly coloured even though it was painted perhaps 10 years earlier. Like many Khmer wats there are obvious signs of it falling into a state of disrepair,



Wat Prek Ambel has a very large, new ordination hall.


Just yards from the Vihara are a number of tiny dilapidated shacks. This is not unusual; a Khmer temple often provides accommodation to the widowed, the old and the sick and the poor.


This lovely lady worked sweeping the grounds of the temple. She was most amused in the process of having her picture taken but had little interest in the finished result.

It was striking though that almost all of those living here were old. It felt like a retirement village and a retirement village in Cambodia is not usual at all.

In fact, the first such village- built on a very small scale- was only opened a year or two ago. Perhaps Prek Ambel is another attempt at looking after those elderly Cambodians who do not have families who care?


The only monk in residence while I was there was most keen on having his photograph taken.

Singapore, What Wat?

What Wat? Angullia Mosque, Little India, Singapore

A once a week look at Wats and other places of worship within the region.


Found in the middle of Little India on Serangoon Road, Angullia Mosque is one of two mosques in the area.

Little India is a commercial centre for many thousands of immigrant workers from Tamil Nadu and the Angullia Mosque offers services in the Tamil Language.



The mosque derives its name from Mohammed Salleh Eusoof Angullia. He was an Indian merchant who moved to Singapore in 1850.



The land upon which the mosque now stands was purchased by him in 1890. His family later denoted the land and the mosque was built in 1970.



Dua: an expression of submission of faith to God and of one’s neediness.


Thailand, What Wat?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between the Eyes


Kanchanaburi, Thailand


  • What is it?
  • What does it mean?
  • What’s the significance of the sun-like symbol on the ‘hat?’
  • Why is there a dot right between the eyes?
  • Is it a tomb?

This is in rural Kanchanaburi, Thailand but you can see from the writing it is a Chinese structure.

Perhaps someone could tell me what this is all about?

More WordPress challenges, here